Ice storm threat for Philly region as more severe weather looms

todayFebruary 15, 2021

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By NBC 10 Staff |

Ice storm warnings have been issued for northern and western counties as the Philadelphia region and Lehigh Valley brace for a potential ice storm.

A mix of sleet and freezing rain is moving into our area Monday afternoon, with dangerous amounts of freezing rain expected Monday evening into Tuesday morning north and west of Philadelphia.

NBC10 has issued a First Alert for the weather, which could make driving or even walking outside dangerous in many neighborhoods and packs the potential to do damage in northern and western neighborhoods. The First Alert goes from 2 p.m. Monday into Tuesday morning.

The National Weather Service issued an Ice Storm Warning for upper parts of Bucks, Chester and Montgomery counties, the Lehigh Valley and Berks County.

The worst impacts are expected to be across Berks County, the Lehigh Valley and north through the Poconos, where freezing rain totals may exceed half an inch.

Major icing with freezing rain totals of up to a third of an inch are expected north of Route 202, said First Alert Weather meteorologist Steve Sosna. That area includes Quakertown, Harleysville, Pottstown, Reading, Coatesville and nearby areas.

The showers are expected to start spotty but as they intensify, conditions could quickly go downhill where neighborhoods remain below freezing, meteorologist Bill Henley said.

All of these areas should be prepared for extremely dangerous driving conditions and the possibility of power outages, Sosna said.

“Major ice storms like this one cause numerous power outages and significant tree damage as big branches snap under the weight of the ice,” Sosna said. “Travel becomes dangerous to nearly impossible during the peak of these storms.”

As showers move in Monday afternoon, icy spots should be expected to occur through a larger part of the region.

Philadelphia and its nearby suburbs — including South Jersey and northern Delaware — are not expected to see a major storm, but could see slippery to dangerous travel, particularly on Monday afternoon and evening, Sosna said.

Philadelphia, the rest of the Pennsylvania suburbs, northern Delaware and parts of South Jersey are under a winter weather advisory, the weather service said.

The system is expected to wrap up later Tuesday morning as rain. Temps on Tuesday are expected to get into the 40s in many neighborhoods, leading to melting of some of the snow that has been on the ground.

A degree or two in your neighborhood could really affect what you see.

The best bet is to avoid driving, if you can, Monday evening into early Tuesday. To watch out for slippery spots on sidewalks. And, to make sure your devices are charged in case the power goes out.

Tracking another wintry storm

Temps are expected to drop again on Wednesday ahead of another winter storm threat on Thursday and Friday. Stay tuned for the latest on that storm in the days to come.

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